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Fulton commission faces $50M shortfall, vows to fight state for taxation authority
by Noreen Cochran
June 19, 2013 01:26 PM | 2096 views | 0 0 comments | 51 51 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Warning potential polluters away from south Fulton residential neighborhoods is too important not to have more public input, county commissioners decided in their meeting today at the government center in downtown Atlanta.

An environmental justice amendment to the zoning law has been on the docket since January, but commissioners don't feel ready to act yet.

The board did approve, 6-1 with Commissioner Liz Hausmann opposed, to protest state legislation keeping the county from establishing the millage rate.

"We're asking for a fight," Commissioner Robb Pitts said. "I'm not saying we shouldn't fight."

The commission almost immediately considered raising the millage rate to raise $15 million in hospital bond funds for Grady Health Systems.

"I think the community at large is going to have a lot of heartburn over this," Hausmann said. "I don't think that's the way to go at this particular time."

The 4-2 vote, with Pitts and Hausmann opposed, provides for legal advertisements and a July 17 public hearing.

Finances are still squeezed, though, as Chief Appraiser David Fitzgibbon clarified a $500 million boost in the tax digest will only produce another $5 million in revenue, leaving a $100 million shortfall flagged by Pitts.

Finance Director Patrick O'Connor said the 2014 shortfall will be $50 million.

The board approved nearly $5 million to fix the locks at the Fulton County Jail by a 5-1 vote, with Pitts opposed.

The vendor is Cornerstone Detention Products of Tanner, Ala.

Nearly $20 million was approved for Motorola Solutions of Alpharetta to fold a new emergency radio system in with the existing communication format.

It beat Harris Communications, also of Alpharetta.

Pitts said the bidding process was flawed.

His was the opposing vote in the 5-1 action.

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